Destination: Desolation

Graceful stone faces
Gazes cascade down granite
Pool in lucid lakes

We hiked endless miles up staircases carved into the stone by successive generations of footfalls in search of rarer air and clearer water. A lake the shade of the sky hung over our heads; a horizon-spanning mirage shimmering with heat.

We were overjoyed when at last we cast off our packs, but we still took care to heed the old naturalist’s maxim: take only dips, leave only ripples.

Languid times
Take a liquid nap
Slake torpor

Adventuring works up a hunger best sated by fellowship, and we tucked into ample platefuls of pasta with the daylight still blazing, then settled into a perch at the rim of the valley to sketch. As distant as the next horizon sometimes seems, the day’s hike served as a reminder that it can always be had for a thousand strides, a vessel of sweat, and a bushel of spent breath.

A Sierra sunset makes for the most decadent of desserts. 

Make everything better
Even nature

At night the age-old lakeside Ponderosa skinny-dipped in the sky, stirring up turbulence among the stars. Bob and Cecil, thirsty for sleep, retired to sip at the celestial. But my love and I were still awake, and when the snores faded and the stars shimmered down, we heard the beasts invade out of empty air. Soon their hoofbeats receded; perhaps they were spooked by our thundering hearts.